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Football: Bethlehem ends regular season with win

Colonie still gets into playoffs when Schenectady beats Niskayuna

— An out-of-town scoreboard would have been helpful at Friday's Bethlehem-Colonie football game.

While the two teams were playing a cross-divisional game, contests with Class AA playoff implications were taking place in Niskayuna, Latham and Ballston Spa.

Bethlehem was hoping for a Saratoga victory over Ballston Spa, which could have given it a Sectional berth over Colonie with a win against the Garnet Raiders. Meanwhile, Colonie was pulling for Schenectady to defeat Niskayuna and Shaker to beat LaSalle to avoid a possible four-way tie for third place in the Liberty Division.

Bethlehem (2-4 division, 3-4 overall) got the victory it was looking for by beating Colonie 26-7, but Ballston Spa (2-4, 2-5) earned the No. 4 seed out of the Empire Division by shutting out Saratoga (2-4, 2-5) 34-0 and creating a three-way tie for fourth place. Ballston Spa received the final playoff berth by having more quarter points (17) than Bethlehem (15) or Saratoga (14.5).

Colonie (2-3, 3-4) received the help it needed to qualify for Sectionals for the first time in three years when Schenectady (3-2, 5-2) routed Niskayuna (1-4, 3-4) 49-20 and Shaker (5-0, 7-0) downed LaSalle (1-4, 2-5) 33-6.

Though unhappy with his team's performance against Bethlehem, first-year Colonie coach Bill Roemer was pleased to have his team make the postseason.

"Right now it's not that big, but we did get a monkey off our backs. That's a positive," said Roemer. "The kids should be happy they have a meaningful Week 8 game to prepare for."

Bethlehem coach Rick Leach said his Eagles played their best game of the season against Colonie -- a contest which included two long touchdowns by Mike Graves and a pair of critical defensive stops deep in their territory.

"It's the most complete performance for four quarters we've had on offense, defense and special teams," said Leach.

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